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Meet HearBy: Matt Star

Hello readers! This is Rebecca, sister of founder Matt, and special advisor for HearBy. As Matt has been locked in the coding dungeon (HearBy HQ) and lost his ability to form sentences that don’t start with <p>, def, or <%=, I’m guest-writing to introduce this guy to the world:

Left: Matthew Star, Right: Actor Peter Barton as Matthew Star in NBC's 1982 TV bomb, "The Power's of Matthew Star"

Left: Matthew Star;   Right: Actor Peter Barton as Matthew Star in NBC’s “The Power’s of Matthew Star”

After his 1982 TV show was cut by NBC, Matthew Star relinquished his powers and made a bit of a life change from alien prince to child of the 90s. Matt has always had an incredible way of not only getting excited about new ventures, but also dedicating himself to making them happen long term.

His first interest was food; he loved to cook, and still does, even after his failed attempt to get on Emeril Live in 5th grade. Though he no longer shouts “Bam!” while seasoning scrambled eggs, he still makes a mean brisket, and his insistence that this year’s Thanksgiving Turkey be made with truffle butter (which I believe he had to special order – turns out the local grocery store doesn’t keep that in stock) was potentially over the top, but definitely delicious. And when not cooking, Matt can commonly be found trying new types of food in whatever city he resides – as a bit of a bland eater myself, visiting him in NYC was always interesting for the taste buds, to say the least.

Indoor Skydiving

Indoor Skydiving!

Matt has also had a similar relationship with music. When he was little, he learned as many instruments as he could get his hands on. This passion for music continued throughout his college years at Columbia, where he composed a few musicals and graduated with a music BA. After college, he bounced around a bit working for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in New York and BMG/Chrysalis Music Publishing in LA. In the meantime, he even produced an album, “made beats” for Under Armour commercials, and scored both a web series produced by Ashton Kutcher and a short film by David (yes, THE David!), and their mutual bud and other co-founder Eric Binswanger.

Left: Smashing the guitar;  Right: Slappin da bass'

Left: Smashing the guitar;   Right: Slappin da bass

“So why Matt, and why HearBy, Rebecca?” you, my enthusiastic reader are I’m sure just itching to know. As an excitable foodie/musician who loves exploring new places, Matt’s interest in this venture is almost a no-brainer. In his words, “We’ve always been passionate about the idea, and one of the best parts of starting a company like this is diving further down the rabbit hole, expanding, reinventing, and clarifying the product until it becomes viable—and seeing people get excited as they use it ain’t too shabby either! I keep thinking about something David and I talked about recently as we were editing one of the many incubator applications: The world’s already been explored by the people we know and the sources we trust. We just want everyone to access it.”

Ooh! And before I forget, you should follow him on instagram and twitter or shoot him an email if you want to talk about the virtues of taking 48 hours to make veal stock (or if you would like to talk more about HearBy, Ruby on Rails, or Javascript…i.e. his life for the past 2 months).

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Meet HearBy: David Shuck

Hi, my name’s David and I’m one of the founders of HearBy. I try to live my life as to what would make for the best story, not necessarily the sanest decision. This has taken me to a lot of interested places and people. In my 23 years I’ve been everything from a sprinkler repairman, an amateur MMA fighter, the editor of a conspiracy theory website, a rare book archivist, and a foreign language film director amongst others.

dave_hotdog

Here’s me eating a hot dog in Iceland

I grew up in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb about 10 miles outside of Denver–yes, the Columbine one–then attended Bowdoin College in Maine. While there, I majored in history, rowed on the crew team, wrote for the school paper, ran the film club, wrote plays for the student theater, and spent six months abroad in the Czech Republic where I made a short film called “Dear Hunters” with Eric Binswanger. I wrote my thesis on how Keplerian light optics signaled the transition from Aristotelian natural philosophy to modern experimental science.

That's me on the left directing "Dear Hunters"

That’s me on the left directing “Dear Hunters”

After graduating in 2012, I moved to Los Angeles with dreams of working in the film industry. I collected a few jobs out there, I was a temp executive assistant at HBO, an intern on Robot Chicken, and a writer for the denim enthusiast site RawrDenim.com. While there, Eric introduced me to Matt (who had also composed the score for “Dear Hunters”) and we came up with the idea for HearBy while he was living on the couch in my apartment. We moved to Philadelphia in July of 2013 to actually get it off the ground.

That's me trying to grow a beard.

That’s me trying to grow a beard.

Now, you might be asking, that stuff all sounds pretty cool but how does that in any way qualify you to create an app from the ground up? It really doesn’t. But as you’ve seen above, that rarely stops me from trying. What we’ve done so far has already been one of the most novel and enriching projects I’ve ever taken part in. As a wet behind the ears humanities grad, HearBy has taken me on a crash course through market research, product design, rapid prototyping, full stack web development, social media marketing, and I’m sure a plethora of other subjects before we’re through.

I’m really excited about what we’ve come up with so far and I can’t wait to get what we’re working on into your hands. Feel free to drop me a line at david@hearby.co, or follow me @deshuck on Twitter and Instagram.